UCI's Knapp wins Long Beach Open qualifier

LONG BEACH — UC Irvine junior Ryan Knapp, who stood out at Estancia High and Orange Coast College, won the Long Beach Open Amateur Qualifying Tournament after he shot a nine-under-par 63 at Recreation Park Golf Course Wednesday.

UCI sophomore Pete Fernandez finished second with a 65 and also qualified for the 24th Long Beach Open.

Marcus Mercado-Kiel, a Newport Harbor High product who finished tied for 11th in the state as a freshman for OCC in May, was also among seven who qualified for the Long Beach Open. Mercado-Kiel tied for fifth with a 67.

The Long Beach Open is July 26-29 at El Dorado Park and Skylinks Golf Courses. The tournament features 72 holes of stroke play with the field cut to the low 60 scores and ties following 36 holes.

Knapp is playing in the SCGA Amateur Championship, which starts Friday at Big Canyon Country Club and Fernandez finished fourth in the Long Beach City Championship earlier this month.

Long Beach Open Amateur Qualifying Tournament

Par 72

Qualifiers

1. Ryan Knapp, 63

2. Pete Fernandez, 65

T3. Ronnald Monaco (Rancho Cucamonga), 66

T3. Brandon Shin (Granada Hills), 66

T5. Carter Pool (San Diego), 67

T5. Marcus Mercado-Kiel, 67

T5. Nick Thomas (Westlake Village), 67

— From staff reports

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